I'll admit it. I want a better marriage. What woman doesn't?
How easy it is for us, when things go wrong, to pray for God to "fix" our men. That He will help them to see the error of their ways. That He would restore our marriage and change them.
While changing the male heart in a marriage may be a part of the over-all equation, I submit that, for the believing wife who desires a better relationship with her beloved, change should first take place within her own heart.
That's a hard truth to swallow for me. But when I really examine what the Word says about how women should live with their husbands, I can't deny the truth. It's my responsibility as a wife to stay with my husband, to love him, and respect him, whether or not I feel he deserves it. If there are problems, I need to take them to God and ask Him to intervene.
But the change I seek begins with me. After all, the Bible says to first remove the plank from your own eye before trying to remove the speck from your brother's eye. (Matthew 7:5). When my thoughts become skewed with selfishness and pride, I have to take a few steps back and go to the Word for a reminder of how God wants things done.
That's where I am right now...tossing aside my pride and ready to say yes to whatever my Savior leads me to do.
I'm praying this prayer for restoration in my marriage:
Father, thank you for my husband; for his hard work in providing for our family; for the love he has for me; for the special bond that we have; for his long-suffering throughout the years of trials we've experienced; for all the goodness he brings to my life. I lift up our marriage to you for restoration to what you intended it to be.
I pray that you will change me. I relinquish to you my pride and unforgiveness, and ask that you cleanse me of all unrighteousness. Search me, O' Lord, and know my heart; try me and know my anxieties. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Forgive me, Father, for the times when I've allowed pride to hinder my submission, honor, and love to my husband.
You love him more than I do, and I pray that, by the power of your Holy Spirit, you will help me to love him as you do. Help me to see him through your eyes. Help me to honor him and submit to him in everything, as the head of our household, just as your church submits to you. Please give me right words and actions so that in places where he needs to grow, he may be won over by my respectful and pure behavior. Infuse me, Lord, with good character and a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great value in your sight. Help me to be dignified, not slanderous; sober-minded and faithful in all things. Make me into a trustworthy wife so that his heart can trust me in all things. Whenever I open my mouth to speak to him, help me to speak with wisdom and kindness. Help me to do him good and not harm for all the days of my life. Search my heart, Lord, and purge it of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, and every form of malice. Help me to be kind and compassionate to him, forgiving him, just as in Christ you have forgiven me.
Bring us into alignment with your will for our family. Help us to operate as one mind and feeling, united by your Spirit, loving as brothers, being compassionate and humble-minded in dealing with one another. Let us bless and not curse one another. Soften our hearts toward one another. Let us build one another up, not tear each other down. Help us not to repay insult for insult, but rather, with blessing. For it is this that we have been called.
I ask this in Jesus' Holy Name. Amen.